Sarah Palin has declined an offer to speak at CPAC, for the second year in a row. Why, exactly?Dave Weigel
wondered if it had to do with CPAC not paying guests any speaking fees or travel expenses, compared to Palin's lavish fees from the Tea Party convention. Politico
cites an anonymous source close to Palin, who put the blame on CPAC, based on a report late last year that its parent organization, the American Conservative Union, had asked Federal Express for millions of dollars in exchange for its support and work on an issue campaign. "Palin is taking a stance against this just as she did in Alaska," the source said.
CPAC director Lisa de Pasquale told TPMDC that their interactions with the Palin camp were cordial, and Palin never walked away from any previous commitment to attend. "There was never an acceptance," de Pasquale said. "We were still working together as early as, I believe, early this week. They had told us that they were trying, they were rearranging her schedule, or looking at her schedule to make sure it could work."
"They didn't communicate any specific reasons, just that they were working on it," said de Pasquale. Was there any discussion of a speaking fee? "They never asked for money," de Pasquale responded.
"We certainly have great admiration for Gov. Palin, and we hope that she'll speak in the future" de Pasquale added.
I asked de Pasquale whether the story in Politico, that Palin was offended at the ACU asking Federal Express for money, was a factor. "They have never communicated any reasons to us," she responded. "Our relationship with them has always been very cordial and friendly. So I don't have any comment on what an unnamed source would say."